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a bone of contention

An unresolved problem, dispute, or disagreement. Jerry leaving his dirty dishes in the sink for days became a bone of contention between him and his roommate.
See also: bone, contention, of

in contention

Among those eligible to win something; in competition. Don't count them out just because they've been on a losing streak—they're still in contention for that final playoff spot.
See also: contention
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bone of contention

Fig. the subject or point of an argument; an unsettled point of disagreement. We've fought for so long that we've forgotten what the bone of contention is. The question of a fence between the houses has become quite a bone of contention.
See also: bone, contention, of
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

bone of contention

Main issue of a disagreement; something to quarrel about. For example, Grandfather's will was a bone of contention for the whole family. This expression alludes to two dogs fighting (contending) over a single bone. In slightly different guise, bone of dissension, it was used figuratively in the 16th century and took its present form in the early 1700s.
See also: bone, contention, of
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a bone of contention

COMMON A bone of contention is an issue that people are arguing about. Both players were lectured severely by the referee, but the real bone of contention was the injury to Montgomery. Pay, of course, is not the only bone of contention. Note: The image here is of two dogs fighting over a bone.
See also: bone, contention, of
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a bone of contention

a subject or issue over which there is continuing disagreement.
The idea is of a bone thrown into the midst of a number of dogs and causing a fight between them.
See also: bone, contention, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a bone of conˈtention

a matter about which there is a lot of disagreement: The interpretation of this painting has long been a bone of contention among art historians.
See also: bone, contention, of

in/out of conˈtention (for something)

with/without a chance of winning something: Only three teams are now in contention for the title.With that defeat, Marshall dropped out of contention.
See also: contention, of, out
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

bone of contention

The subject of a dispute.
See also: bone, contention, of
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

bone of contention, the

The central point of a dispute. The phrase alludes to two dogs fighting over a single bone, and originally was a bone of dissension (“This became a bone of dissension between these deere friends,” William Lambarde, 1576). The current cliché dates from the early eighteenth century, although the metaphor of dogs fighting over a bone had been transferred to human quarrels long before (“The devil hath cast a bone to set stryfe between you,” John Heywood’s Proverbs, 1562).
See also: bone, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
In the contention for accessing channel in the CAP period, BMSs wait for random amount of time and perform backoffs.
Each phase of BMSs whether they have emergency or non-emergency must perform contention to access channel.
Each scheme only presents the CAP period allocation as in CSMA/CA without reducing the repetition in rounds of contention. This way increases contention and degrades performance of MAC protocol, which results in higher collision; the BMS retransmits the lost/collided packets causing delay, lower data reliability and high energy consumption.
The operating frequency 2.4 GHz is divided into sixteen sub-operating frequency channels, the modification of the MAC Superframe structure of IEEE 802.15.4 with reduced contention and the priority-basis channels allocation to BMSs.
Anyway, he makes the wild contention that capitulation to the Holy See's requirements would reduce the universities to slavery.
In addition the results support the contention by Grambrill, et al.
The results however, support our contention that rehabilitation clients can be identified for assertion training or acceptance of disability facilitation based on need.
It is suggested to use burst flow control for contention reduction also [8].
One of the contention resolution strategies applied in core router is the wavelength conversion.
Fiber delay lines (FDL) is another solution for contention resolution in OBS when bursts are delayed in core routers because of the lack of random access memory.
Another possible contention resolution strategy can be deflection routing, when the optical burst switching matrix is sent to the next output port of a predetermined core router.